After claiming a bronze medal from London 2012, and a silver from Rio 2016, triathlete Jonny Brownlee needs just one thing from Tokyo 2020 to complete his collection: gold.
And now, with his two-times Olympic gold medallist elder brother Alistair missing from this year’s Games, the younger brother feels Tokyo could be his time.
Reflecting on not having Alistair at the Games with him, Brownlee said: “My last two Olympic Games I’ve actually been stood on the start line next to him so that is a big thing.
'It will be strange and different' - Jonny Brownlee on racing at Olympics without brother Alistair
Jonathan Brownlee | Triathlon | ESP Player Feature
Image credit: Getty Images
“The whole build-up, we train together, the whole build-up into the race of talking to him.
“I’m actually quite looking forward to it as well! Not having Alistair there.
“In London, I trained with him beforehand, I knew that he was better than me, he was fitter than me, so he was the one to beat.
Hopefully it’s my time to give it a good go now.
“Alistair gave it his best shot but, unfortunately, his body let him down, which happens in sport.
“I’ll miss him there, but I think more than anything this year it’s been different enough as it is so not having Alistair there is just another little difference.”
Tokyo 2020 is the third Olympic Games the 31-year-old will compete at.
Although shocked to have reached this impressive milestone, Brownlee is confident he will be on the start line as a serious medal contender
“Firstly, it’s an honour to qualify for my third Olympic Games, which is pretty special,” He said. “I never thought I’d go to three!”
“Obviously, it’s been a strange build-up, a bit different, but I feel like I’m getting into form at the right time now.”
“My first race in Yokohama didn’t go very well and then my second in Sardinia went really, really well.
“I felt the best I had done for years and that gave me massive confidence that I could be on the Tokyo start line as a genuine medal contender.
That’s what I want to do, to be there competing for another medal and hopefully that gold one.
Despite the triathlete’s positive outlook on what the outcome of this Olympic Games could be for him, he does admit that his journey to Tokyo has involve some unique methods to ensure he is in peak condition and ready for the challenges Tokyo brings.
He said: “Tokyo – the challenge is going to be the heat. Those conditions are really, really brutal.
“So, to prepare for that you simply have to spend time in the heat and you do that by going abroad or at home. I’ve done that by the home way.
“Basically, my conservatory downstairs, a company came in and put two big heaters in and insulated the roof and my conservatory can get up to 34 or 35 degrees and humidity is really, really high.
“In the last few months I’ve spent a lot of time in there and over the next few weeks before we go to Japan itself I’m spending a lot of time in the conservatory training away, sweating away, getting myself used to the conditions.”
Brownlee hopes that this years Olympic Games will bring hope to those watching who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as they are able to view the games as a sign that the world is returning to normality.
He said: “This Olympic Games, I really think this will be a beacon of light.
It’s a time where we can focus on different things and the amazing stories of sport, the amazing achievements of sport, and watch it.
“Also, we can show that these events can happen in these times and hopefully it’s a sign of the world returning to some kind of normality.
“I’ll be proud to be part of that and hopefully we can do our bit for that.
“I’m a massive Olympic fan, going to the Olympics in London and Rio were amazing and hopefully this one will be even more special.”
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